InFocus ScreenPlay 8604 review

ScreenPlay's 8604 projector shines – but at a price premium Tested at £2500

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A fine projector in many regards, but be sure to check out the BenQ W1200 before you buy it


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    Highly effective

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    easy to set-up and install

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    well-equipped, with a good range of inputs


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    BenQ’s amazing W1200 is nearly as good and half the price

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    3D kit isn’t much more

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Is 3D support a must-have in your view? If the answer’s ‘yes’, move on: the rest of this review is not for you.

If, on the other hand, you’re more equivocal on the matter (you and, it would appear, most everyone else) then it’s worth lingering a moment, because the new InFocus ScreenPlay 8604 certainly has much to commend it.

As with other ScreenPlay projectors before it, the 8604’s a DLP design, based on the DarkChip3 Digital MicroMirror Device (DMD) that, in this implementation, confers a claimed 5000:1 contrast ratio plus a promising 1700 lumens of light output.

Pixelworks DNX video processing takes care of scaling, deinterlacing and so on.

The 8604’s easy enough to install: while it omits the motorised lens controls of some rivals, its thumbwheel adjusters for vertical and horizontal lens shift are just as effective in practice.

There’s a good range of throw adjustment in the standard lens and, should that not suffice, short-throw or long-throw alternatives are also available.

Picture performance is great
Out of the box, the 8604’s brightness and scale is immediately apparent, but so is its tendency to rather over-cook its colours.

However, it’s easy to tweak things to arrive at an image that impresses across the board, with good black levels, very low levels of background noise.

Motion handling is fine with the motion smoothing system switched off: to our eyes, turning it on adds an unnatural feel that we’d do without.

So it’s talented, easy to install and use…what’s the problem? Surprisingly, it’s not the presence of JVC’s 3D-capable £3500 DLA-X3 that causes us most concern: it’s the BenQ W1200, which is nearly as good as the 8604, but half the price.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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